The Rukeri Plantation is now able to offer certified organic production. The tea industry has become one of Rwanda’s most important economic sectors and one of the country’s largest employers. More than 90% of production is exported although most is in the production of C.T.C. (Cut, Torn, Curled); a Flowery Orange Pekoe is something of a rarity.
The Rukeri Plantation was founded almost fifty years ago, and was one of the first Estates, tea growing only started in Rwanda in 1952. There are still only eleven Estates in all of Rwanda. The tea is processed close to the Estate to minimise transport costs and potential damage to the leaf. The tea is grown by the ASSOPTHE Tea Growers Association, each member cultivates slightly under a quarter of a hectare plot which is directly under his or her responsibility. This is contrary to most Rwandan cooperatives in which members cultivate the plantations collectively.
The quality leaves are long and wiry, mid brown in colour with a few golden leaves. The taste is slightly spicy with a pleasant citrus note and a piquant fresh aroma.